San Francisco Radio Host Jeffrey Vandergrift Found Dead a Month After He Went Missing
The body of the WiLD 94.9 on-air personality was discovered in the water near San Francisco's Pier 39 on Wednesday. He was 55
San Francisco radio host Jeffrey Vandergrift has been found dead a month after he went missing. He was 55.
The San Francisco Medical Examiner's Officer confirmed the WiLD 94.9 on-air personality's death to PEOPLE in a statement and said next of kin have been notified.
In a separate statement, the city's police department confirmed to PEOPLE that a body was found on Wednesday afternoon.
"On March 22, 2023, at approximately 4:56 p.m. San Francisco Police officers responded to Pier 39 regarding a person in the water. Officers arrived on scene and located a person in the water," Public Information Officer Niccole Pacchetti said. "Officers and medics from the San Francisco Fire Department retrieved the person who was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this time, we have no evidence of foul play."
The San Francisco police first alerted the public to Vandergrift's disappearance Feb. 24, noting the radio host, who went missing the previous night, was considered "at-risk."
Related:Missing Radio Host Jeffrey Vandergrift Gave a Troubling Health Update On the Air Before He Disappeared
On Thursday, Vandergrift's radio station addressed the loss of their colleague in a Twitter post. "With a heavy heart, we must confirm that the body found near Pier 39 on Wednesday afternoon has been identified as our dear friend, family member & colleague, JV," the radio station wrote. "We are devastated to know now that JV is gone. Please keep his wife Natasha, his family, and close friends in your thoughts and prayers."
Vandergrift's wife Natasha Yi, also an on-air radio personality, addressed her husband's disappearance on March 2.
Yi wrote that although Vandergrift "officially remains missing according to the SFPD," some "personal information" that had recently been discovered "leads us to believe JV will not be coming back."
Vandergrift, who received a diagnosis of Lyme disease in 2021, gave a troubling update about his health just hours before he was last seen.
Related:Missing Radio Host Jeffrey Vandergrift's Wife Says He Won't Be Back: 'I Have Been in So Much Pain'
"The stuff I've been going through in my brain that they're trying to figure out. Ugh," he said, adding that doctors told him they believed something might have "reignited" some of his old infections.
"The body and the pain and all that stuff, I can handle. What it's doing to my brain I could never describe to you," Vandergrift continued, adding that he was told options were experimental treatment or a "risky and experimental" surgery.
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In her statement in early March, Yi also address her husband's ongoing health issues. "The amount of compassion for the physical torture J has been going through for the past 2 years has been overwhelming," she said. "I have been in so much pain and fear and I know all of you have been so scared and concerned for JV as well."
A week before the news of Vandergrift's death, Yi shared pictures of the couple on Instagram.
"I miss you," she wrote in the caption. "You are the love of my life. I will love you for eternity."
As the search for the then-missing Vandergrift continued in early March, his radio colleagues shared memories and a collection of their "favorite" photographs and stories with the on-air personality.
Related:Jeffrey Vandergrift's Colleagues Share Favorite Memories of Missing Radio Host as Search Continues
"Our thoughts continue to be with JV and his whole family," the station captioned its post, which included a trio of photos from co-hosts Selena and Graham. "Here are a few of our favorite moments with him throughout the years of love and laughs❤️."
In his most recent Instagram post, Vandergrift wrote of happiness as well as "pain" and "struggle."
"Thank you for a wonderful life-filed w joy, laughs, pain & struggle. It's been a great journey. Your support & prayers meant the world. Keep shinin'," he wrote.
Although the post is dated August 2022, its caption was edited over a week ago, but it's unclear what changes were made.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.
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